Today’s Example on Why Removing Disclosure Authorization from IRS eServices Is a Miserable Idea

Today I needed to order a transcript for a client. I had a signed Form 8821 (Tax Information Authorization). I couldn’t enter the form electronically using Disclosure Authorization as I didn’t have past information for the taxpayer. So I faxed the form to the IRS CAF unit, and I called the Practitioner Priority Service (PPS) to order a transcript.

Problem #1: I was on hold for 1:13:30 before the IRS picked up the call. That’s one hour, thirteen minutes, and thirty seconds. Now, I was warned that the wait time would be over thirty minutes, but 73 minutes is a bit ridiculous for the IRS.

Long hold times have been routine at the IRS. I keep track of this, and my four most recent calls to the PPS have had hold times of 31 minutes, 34 minutes, 38 minutes, and today’s 73 minutes. (I was told on the three previous calls, “The average wait time is greater than fifteen minutes.”)

Problem #2: The representative I reached did not have a working computer. In other words, he could not help anyone who reached him. Given that situation, and the fact that this situation only impacted him, why in the world was he connected into the PPS?

Now, I understand that the IRS computers do crash, and in that case an individual IRS representative shouldn’t be removed from the system. However, what good was there of having my representative answering calls when there was about a 0% chance of him assisting anyone?

Problem #3: The representative either couldn’t or wouldn’t transfer me to someone who could assist me. I explained what I needed (ordering a transcript). Why couldn’t he transfer me either back into the queue or to the IRS representative sitting next to him? The only option I received was to call back later, after he helpfully told me that the problem was impacting only his computer. He did apologize for the long hold time, though….

The joy of this is that this will be the new face of the IRS come August 12th. That’s when I’ll be explaining to my clients that the IRS is literally an agency stuck in the 1950s.


2 Responses to “Today’s Example on Why Removing Disclosure Authorization from IRS eServices Is a Miserable Idea”

  1. Dan says:

    Russ, I experienced the exact same thing yesterday. “Greater than 30 minute wait” was well over an hour. I have never had it be off so bad! And the lady at the PPS could not get her fax machine to function. Blamed the problem on me!

    Glad I am not alone 🙂

  2. […] So after the debacle on Tuesday I called back yesterday afternoon. The hold time was far better: 68 minutes. That’s almost a 7% improvement! […]